The Human Rights Campaign released the 2022 Municipal Equality Index, and Portland is on the list. How did we score?
Each year, the Human Rights Campaign releases a Municipal Equality Index which takes a deep dive into municipal laws, policies, and services and how inclusive they are of LGBTQ+ people. This year’s edition examined 506 cities on 49 different criteria across five categories — non-discrimination laws, municipality as employer, services and programs, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.
Based on these criteria, Portland earned a score of 100 out of 100. A perfect score. Here’s a breakdown of how we got here… and how we can go even further.
This category looks at whether LGBTQ+ discrimination is prohibited by law in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. Portland achieved a 30 out of 30 for our laws across the state, county, and municipality.
Municipality as employer
Cities can achieve points for inclusive employment policies like trans-inclusive health care policies and non-discrimination in city employment. Portland got a 28 out of 28, and earned bonus points for city employee domestic partner benefits.
Services and programs
This section considers the city’s efforts to include LGBTQ+ folks in city services and programs. Portland scored 10 out of 12.
Looking at the relationship between law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community, Portland earned 22 out of 22.
Leadership on LGBTQ+ equality
This section looks at city leadership’s commitment to advocacy and inclusion. Portland got an 8 out of 8, and earned bonus points for having openly LGBTQ+ elected or appointed leaders.
Other studies like this
The HRC isn’t the only organization tracking Portland’s inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community. Explore these locally conducted studies for comparison:
- “LGBTQ+ Social Services and Needs in Portland Oregon,” by Jay M. Tomlinson, Portland State University
- LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Plan from Oregon’s Department of Education
- LGBTQ+ Older Adult Survey Report from The Goldsen Institute
Where we can improve
Even a perfect score doesn’t mean a perfect city. Portland earned its perfect score with bonus points and would achieve a higher score from the HRC with a few extra efforts. For example, the city could provide greater services to the transgender community and LGBTQ+ youths.
If you want to get involved, here are some local organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community.
- PFLAG Portland
- Dykes on Bikes
- Pride Foundation
- Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center
- Q Center
- Our House
- Cascade AIDS Project
- Bradley Angle
- Northwest Gender Alliance
How do you think we could make our community more welcoming to all? Let us know.